How to explain to other children?

Amanda - posted on 02/01/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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How have you explained spina bifida and hydrocephalus (shunt) to other children?
My son Nickolas is only 2 1/2 months old, he has a vp shunt. When I had a 4 year old ask what it was I kind of froze and didn't know how to explain it.
Any suggestions? I do not want to use negative words like "there was something wrong with him". There isn't anything wrong with him, he is just like he is supposed to be. I know how to explain it to adults but any suggestions about children?
Thanks

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Jenifer - posted on 02/01/2010

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I told my children that her legs just don't work like theirs do but that doesn't mean she can't do the things they do. She just does them differently. When they asked about her shunt I just told them that everybody has fluid inside their brain but their sister just has too much that has to be drained for her with a special tube called a shunt. I showed them pictures of what it looked like in a book we had but the internet has some simple pictures too.

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Amanda - posted on 04/15/2010

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hi, i've always told my two youngest girls 2yrs and 4yrs that holly is special and needs a bit more looking after as she has a few problems told them she has a poorly back and the shunt is to help with that, they dont take much notice of hollys shunt just tried to be honest with them but not too much detail. hope this helps, they treat holly normaly as they should. amanda

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